Edward Morgan, son of Joseph Morgan and Elizabeth Hardman, was born in Preston, England, on 20 October 1838, and was blessed by Willard Richards.
His father, Joseph Morgan, was a Grand Master of a Free Mason Lodge. The Mormon Elders had arrived in Preston and had held a few meetings there. The Mormon meetings were held the same nights as the Lodge meetings, so Joseph was not privileged to attend their meetings.
One day at work, Joseph became suddenly ill and in a few days was dead. This was a few months before Edward was born. (Ruth Ormond states that Joseph was sick only 24 hours and Edward was born 5 months after his father’s death.)
After Joseph’s death, Edward’s mother, Elizabeth, attended the Mormon meetings and was soon converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the spring of 1841, Edward, his mother, his brother John and his sister Mary emigrated to America in a sailing ship. They landed in New Orleans April 18, 1841, and then traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois in early June.
Christopher Merkley took Edward, his mother and his brother John to live with him. Mary lived with Hyrum Smith, the prophet’s brother. She died while living at Hyrum’s home.
In 1842, Edward’s mother, Elizabeth, married Francis Birch.
In 1844, before the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, the family lived northeast of the Nauvoo Temple. Elizabeth became very sick and had to be moved to the cellar as the mob’s cannon balls were in such close range of the house. After the Saints left Nauvoo, Elizabeth was moved by the river until she recovered sufficiently to travel.
Edward and John saw the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum while they were alive and when their bodies were brought from the Carthage Jail after the martyrdom.
Edward went through the Nauvoo Temple and up to the tower while it was in the course of construction as his stepfather, Francis Birch, was working there and continued his work until it was finished. He witnessed the soldiers who were on guard around the temple and saw them shooting at one of the stone oxen which they had taken from the temple font, using it for target practice. Edward and two other boys were ordered off the grounds by a guard. They were in no hurry to go, but when the guard thrust his bayonet at them, they retreated in a hurry.
The family remained in Nauvoo until 1846, when they moved to Alton, Illinois, where they stayed for four years. Edward was baptized there in the mouth of a cave on 20 October 1846, by his stepfather, Francis Birch. Although young, Edward worked with his stepfather making mortar and carrying bricks in order to get the money to travel to Utah.
While living in Alton, Edward traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, where he visited his mother’s brother, John Hardman and his wife, Mary.
In Alton, Edward first met his future father-in-law, John Scott, who had come there with Nathaniel Felt to secure an outfit for Brigham Young and others of the Saints to travel across the plains.
The family joined Stephen Markham’s company on 13 April 1850. They traveled across the plains by ox team, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 6 October 1850. They lived in Salt Lake until the spring of 1851, when they moved to Millcreek.
Edward worked with his stepfather on the farm in Millcreek, until he was 15 years of age. He had saved $10.00. His earnings were 5 bushels of grain a month. He was very conservative with his income and in 1853 and 1854, he bought ten acres of land for $100.00. By the time he was married he owned 30 acres. He let his brother, John, have 5 acres.
Edward married Louisa Scott, who was then just 16 years of age, on 3 August 1856. He was 18 years old. President Brigham Young married them in the Lion House in Salt Lake City. Eight children were born to this union: Louisa, Matilda Morgan Grant, Elizabeth Merinda Morgan Miller, Edward Moroni, John William, Joseph Menary, Isaac, Ephraim Royal and Ernest Le Roy. They raised from infancy three of Elvina Scott Ellise’s children: Elvina, Elizabeth and Louisa, who were as dear to them as their own children.
On October 24, 1870, Edward married Louisa’s sister, Sophia Scott. She was the mother of two children, Joseph Albert and Sophia Catherine.
Edward was a member of the Utah Militia, mustered every fall for one week to ten days. He was a footman. In the fall of 1857 when Johnston’s army were in the mountains east of Salt Lake, they were counseled to grind their grain into flour and put it in boxes, dry some fruit and bake crackers, ready to move at a moment’s warming. Brother John Singleton hauled 1800 pounds of flour and 100 bushels of wheat for Edward to his home in American Fork for safe keeping.
On 1 April 1858, Major Casper was ordered out with one hundred men. It was fast day and Edward and his wife, Louisa, were at meeting to have their first child blessed, when orders came that two men had been shot and more men were needed to join the battalion at the foot of Big Mountain.
Edward and Aaron Duett were called to go. Louisa followed him out of the school house to tell him where to get clothes and provisions. They followed the Battalion, carrying their bedding, guns and provisions and went over the mountains to Echo Canyon. The snow was deep, making it very difficult to travel. Some of the men were sent to Lost Creek to guard that place, thinking the Johnston’s army would go in that direction. They were gone for several weeks and many times were short of provisions. They were without food or water for two or three days at a time.
Edward was a cook for thirteen men and after baking bread all day, was ordered to the river. Being over-heated from baking which was done in a brick oven, and then going through the river, gave him cramps and along with other injuries he had sustained, he became very sick. With difficulty, they moved him to Salt Lake to the home of his uncle, William Clayton. Isaac Scott, his brother-in-law walked eight miles to Mill Creek to notify his parents. His parents came to Salt Lake City and took him home. He was on crutches for four months.
With Johnston’s Army still encamped in Utah, Edward moved to American Fork, where his family lived in a wheat bin during the summer, while he lay in wait to burn his home in Mill Creek should the Army try to take possession of it.
He walked a distance of thirty-five miles from Mill Creek to American Fork every three or four weeks to see his family.
At one time he traded grain and flour for government horses. After keeping them all summer, he went for a load of wood and they both died.
He was on duty as a scout to guard the Indians at the Point of the Mountain. The last time he was out as a Cavalryman or Scout was on the Provo Bench in the year 1870. He was obliged to purchase a horse and saddle, bridle, chaps, revolver, rifle and sword. These things were very costly and it almost ruined him financially.
In the fall of 1862, Edward was called to go on a mission to southern Utah to help settle the area. He left for this mission three weeks later on October 20, with a young man by the name of James Peacock. His intentions were to locate a home in Dixie and move his family there. He purchased five acres and a log house on what was called North Ash Creek. He fenced the lot, worked on roads and ditches and planted an orchard and a nursery.
Edward received word that the man who had rented Edward’s farm in Mill Creek had given up the lease, so Edward left the mission activities with Brother Peacock and returned to Mill Creek to take care of his farm.
In the fall, when the work was done, Edward reported to George A. Smith and told him he was ready to return to Dixie. The reply was, “If you will take an emigrant family down there and give them all you have made, your home and land, you may return to your farm and consider yourself honorably released from your mission.” This was in the fall of 1863.
The next 20 years of Edward’s life must have been spent making a living and caring for his family, as nothing eventful is recorded in his journal. He served as road supervisor for 7 years during that time.
On 1 April 1884, Edward was called by President John Taylor to go on a mission to Great Britain. He was set apart 7 April 1884 by Moses Thatcher, and left Salt Lake for his mission on 15 April 1884. He felt secure in going as he had left a fine family of boys and girls to help their mother while he was gone, and to provide means to support him on his mission. He served on this mission for more than two years and was president of the conference. He had many experiences to try and test his faith. He served faithfully in the church all through his life.
Edward was a ward teacher for many years. He was second counselor to George Calder in the first Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association that was organized in Mill Creek. He served as a Sunday School teacher for 30 years. He was a Seventy for 47 years, a High Priest for 18 years.
On 20 October 1900, the family gathered at the old home in remembrance of Edward’s birthday. It is the last time the family were all together as Grandma departed this life 1 November 1900, a devoted and loving wife and mother.
In Edward’s own words: “I feel thankful to my Heavenly Father that He has blessed me in paying tithing, and in donations to the Perpetual Immigration Fund, which helped to bring Saints from all parts of the earth and over the plains to Salt Lake City, to temples, meeting houses, tabernacles, school houses and many other things. I have been blessed for doing my duty and feel very thankful for all the blessings I have received.
“Now realizing I will not be with you many more years, I am leaving notes on my missionary labors which will be kept in my desk for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to read that they may know of my labors in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I bear you my testimony that the Gospel as taught by Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God in our day, that every principle revealed to him is true and that every president of the Church since the Prophet Joseph’s death have been the right men in the right place.” Signed: Edward Morgan, February 2, 1911
A tribute from one of his nieces, Vilate Barson Dahle, “Uncle Edward has done more to collect mean for the building of a monument on Grandfather Scott’s burial plot and for securing perpetual care for the lot, for the furtherance of temple work for the John Scott family than any other individual. Uncle Edward had printed numerous copies of the conspiracy of Nauvoo, which he sold to get means to further the work. His house was always open to relatives and friends who came for far and near to attend General Conference.”
In appreciation of his wonderful life and labors, I, Elizabeth J. Bawden Morgan must say a kinder, more patient and friendly man never lived. He was devotion itself to his family and friends. Firm in his convictions of right, true to his faith. He will ever live in the memory of his family and friends as a ream man.”
After his wife’s death, Edward lived at the old home for eight years, his daughters Libbie and Louie keeping house for him for seven years. After the girls married, a Mrs. Bean kept house for him for one year. He then lived with his son, Isaac for 14 years and his son, Ephraim for 5 years. He was very grateful for what they did for him and expressed his appreciation many times. He was never idle. He chopped wood, cleaned yards and did any other household tasks he could to help out.
In the spring of 1927, he went to live with his youngest son, Ernest and his family at Nibley, Utah. He died January 1, 1928 and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Written by Elizabeth Josephine Bawden Morgan, 3 October 1923, as Edward told it to her.
Retyped March 1991 by Marlo R. Anderson. Retyped by Sherie Goring 2008.